The Bold and Cold

Perfect for the armchair traveller or devoted mountaineer, this book grabs the reader by the boots and takes them along on the best climbs to be found in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Over the past 100 years, climbers have been pushing standards in the Canadian Rockies. From long alpine ridges to steep north faces, the Rockies are synonymous with cutting-edge ascents. Peaks such as Robson, Chephren, Kitchener, the Twins and Alberta elude the many and reward the few. Many of the big faces were climbed between the 1960s and 1990, the golden age of alpinism in the Rockies. The men and women who were part of that age set high standards.

Future alpinists read old journals and guidebooks, hoping to experience what the alpine “pioneers” did. The Rockies require a certain edge that comes with age, humiliation and failure, for most. Perhaps the ones who drink the most whisky, dream of the biggest peaks and sleep with snowballs in their hands are the ones rewarded with the momentary triumph of coming to a draw with one of these mountains.

This is not a guidebook. Rather, it is a narrative history by the people who risked life and limb to establish these long, difficult and sometimes scary climbs.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The Bold and Cold 1
Contents 8
Introduction 10
Chapter 1: The Shakedown Routes 32
CMC Wall, Mount Yamnuska 34
Cheesmond Express, Ha Ling Peak 42
Polar Circus, Cirrus Mountain 48
East Face, Bugaboo Spire 54
North Face, Mount Edith Cavell 62
Chapter 2: The Maiden Routes 68
East Face, Mount Patterson 70
The Beckey/Chouinard, South Howser Tower 74
Slipstream, Snow Dome 80
North Face, Mount Bryce 88
Andromeda Strain, Mount Andromeda 94
Chapter 3: The Middle Earth Routes 100
The Greenwood/Locke, Mount Temple 102
Northeast Buttress, Howse Peak 110
North Ridge, Mount Columbia 118
The Supercouloir, Mount Deltaform 126
East Face, Mount Babel 134
Chapter 4: The Gladiator Routes 140
All Along the Watchtower, North Howser Tower 142
Grand Central Couloir, Mount Kitchener 150
Gimme Shelter, Mount Quadra 158
The Lowe/Hannibal, Mount Geikie 164
The Wild Thing, Mount Chephren 170
Chapter 5: The Titans 180
North Face, Mount Alberta 182
East Face, Mount Assiniboine 196
North Face, South Goodsir 202
Emperor Face, Mount Robson 208
North Face, North Twin 224
Acknowledgements 248
Appendix A: Select Climbers 249
Appendix B: The Kallen 34 254
Glossary 257
Select Bibliography 262